Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Labour Takes a Big Hammering

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Labour Takes a Big Hammering

Article excerpt

Byline: By PETER YOUNG Political Editor

LABOUR took a kicking at the town hall elections as voters delivered their verdict on Gordon Brown.

The party suffered a series of setbacks in its North East heartland as seats fell to the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Independents.

The Liberal Democrats tightened their grip on Newcastle City council today.

They won three seats from Labour and one from the UKIP party at the local elections. But Labour also gained a seat from the Lib Dems, bucking the national trend.

There was no sign of a revival in Newcastle for the Conservatives who failed once again to get a toe-hold back on the council where they haven't had a seat since 1996.

The new council line-up is Liberal Democrat 49 and Labour 29.

Of the 28 seats up for grabs at the election the Lib Dems won 19 and Labour won nine.

Among Labour's casualties was long serving Lemington councillor Barry Phillipson who lost his seat to Lib Dem Liz Langfield.

In Newburn Mike Curthoys of the Lib Dems won the seat from the sitting Labour councillor Anne Whittaker.

In Fenham Labour's George Johnson was toppled by Lib Dem Colin Daglish.

The Lib Dems picked up another seat in Denton where the Lord Mayor Peter Arnold, a former council leader, beat Ian Proud standing for UKIP.

However, there was consolation for Labour as the party won a hard-fought battle in marginal Wingrove with Irim Ali unseating Lib Dem councillor Jaz Siddique.

The BNP failed to make a breakthrough despite fielding 12 candidates, though Ken Booth came second to Labour in Elswick.

Labour held onto Gateshead council but lost one seat to the Lib Dems.

They lost Winlaton and High Spen where Mayor David Lynn had retired.

Brenda Clelland, wife of Tyne Bridge MP David Clelland, lost by 64 votes to Lib Dem Elaine Earl. …

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